‘Miracle’ Baby Dies in Dad’s Arms 2 Weeks After Mom’s Death During His Birth

Matthew Accurso

A grieving father from Jacksonville, Florida, was parted from his newborn son only weeks after saying goodbye to his wife, who died suddenly during childbirth. Matthew Accurso lost his wife, Lauren, late in April, and now their son, Matthew Jr., after being faced with the devastating decision to take him off of life support. 

  • Eighteen days after his mother's tragic death, Matthew Jr. left his dad's arms to join her.

    On May 17, the family's pastor confirmed the heartbreaking news on Facebook. "Earlier this evening baby Matthew, held by his dad, surrounded by his close family as they worshipped and prayed, stepped into eternity to meet Jesus and his momma," Matt McCloghry wrote. "Thank you for continuing to pray and support this family during this difficult time. They are so grateful for your prayers and your support."

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  • Lauren, a mother of four, died during a rare medical emergency April 29 while giving birth to Matthew Jr.

    As explained in a GoFundMe account set up for the family to help pay for Matthew Jr.'s medical expenses, Lauren died "from what has been determined so far to be an unpreventable and very rare medical emergency."

    Matthew Jr. survived his traumatic birth but as People reported, not without complications. The boy had been fighting in the neonatal intensive care unit at Wolfson Children’s Hospital since birth, while his siblings, 8-year-old Ali Rose, 5-year-old Naomi Belle, and 2-year-old Layne Louise, and his father watched him battle "for his life."

    "Matthew’s vitals are good and strong,” the family's pastor Matt McCloghry told Today.com on May 10. “But he went through such immense trauma when he was born, and there are still many things that are not known.”

    At one point, things were starting to look up. According to GoFundMe updates, little Matthew's vitals and breathing had stabilized. He was even “digesting food like a champ." 

  • On May 14, however, the dad revealed that things took a tragic turn and he was faced with a decision no parent should have to make.

    In a heartbreaking Facebook post published by the family's pastor but written by Matthew Sr., the dad explained that with the help of his son's doctors, he's made one of the toughest calls of his life. 

    "Today was one of the hardest days of my life. It will forever be etched in my brain," he wrote. "I sat in a room at Wolfsons hospital with 15 highly qualified medical professionals who all care deeply for our son Matthew. Unfortunately, the last thing I ever thought I would have to talk about as a father was now very real and happening."

    Matthew "is suffering from significant brain injury due to a prolonged period without oxygen during his birth," his dad wrote. "At this time Matthew is being supported by a breathing machine requiring an airway tube, and also a feeding tube. Based on the severity of his condition Matthew will not be able to sustain life without these medical devices in place, what we would typically describe as 'life support.' Over the past few weeks doctors have attempted to wean him off the machines, but sadly the results have not been positive."

    That is why Matthew's family was hit with the gut-wrenching reality of possibly taking him off of life support. "TODAY, I was faced with something no father should ever have to face," he wrote. "The decision to place Matthew on endless life supporting contraptions and medications or allow God to carry him where He will."

    Although Matthew Sr. knew he was making the right decision for his child, it doesn't make it any easier to process as a parent. "My first reaction as Matthews daddy was to sweep my sweet boy up and carry him as far away from machines, medications, life support and hospital smells as I could," he wrote. "But as life sometimes does, I was brought back down to the reality that my only son, the sweet boy that my wife so diligently and lovingly carried for 9 months is in a situation that daddy could not fix."

  • But the dad doesn't feel like his son's life was for naught. In fact, he believes his boy's short life was a "miracle."

    "Matthew is a living miracle," he wrote. "Without an ounce of oxygen he made it in an ambulance, to an emergency room, through an emergency C-section and into a NICU. Matthew then defied all odds and opened his eyes, breathed on his own, pumped blood through his strong heart, moved his limbs without rigidity and even made coo noises." All of which should have been "impossible."

    "Often times we consider things miracles when the miracle looks how we want it to look," he continued. "What I’ve learned is that miracles are miracles whether we choose to see them or not."

    He added that having wife Lauren by his side for "almost 20 years" and "being so blessed to give her four gorgeous babies" was his one of his miracles. The other was his only son.

    "My miracle is holding my son for as many precious moments as possible and when the time comes, lifting him up to his mommy so that she can hold him for the first time in paradise."

    As the family begins to cope with these two major loses, Matthew requested "prayers in the coming days as we work with the doctors and medical staff and plan to see Matthew off to his mommy and Heavenly Father.”

    Since the GoFundMe account was created on April 30, it has been shared more than 15,000 times and has raised over $177, 000. 

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